Sailing to Purgatory
The final scene in this true adventure shocked the author, too.

‘The reader will be enthralled as Paul, former Fleet Street journalist turned professional yachtmaster, takes us along on his ‘swallowing the anchor’ voyage, his retirement from the sea.

'This self-confessed newish ancient mariner … has spent almost a lifetime sailing solo, as both an ocean going competitive yachtsman, as a DoT Commercial Yachtmaster, and during his circumnavigation to become a singlehanded Cape Horner ... Sailing to Purgatory has all the roller coaster elements of a heart stopping adventure — drama on the high seas, observing life ... undersea volcanoes, a love interest, and waves high enough to scare the pants off most of us.’ - Brenda Vowden, journalist, avid reader

Home from the outside ... St Helenans,
'Saints', round their South Atlantic
island in Midshipman,
en route for Stockholm.

Enterprising forebears ... The house Paul's father designed, and the car his paternal grandfather designed and built.

Running repairs ... crewman Declan checks rig fittings on the superyacht, Midshipman, which Paul sailed from the Cape to Sweden.

Sail power ... Gavin's Howe's beautiful yacht in the Mediterranean.

Rescue in the Southern Ocean ... Yachting World's international edition this month features Paul and Captain Fantastic in its Great Seamanship series.

Pat and Gerry Adamson, two wonderful supporters get Spirit of Pentax ready for her circumnavigation.

Home sweet home ... St Helena islanders, after a voyage round their island home on the superyacht, Midshipman.

Baptism of a Cape Horner ... Lady Chichester names Spirit of Pentax in a ceremony at Brighton Marina.

Homeward Bound 2 is prepared for her attempt on the longest open boat record.

Tri trials ... testing Paul's entry in the singlehanded race across the Atlantic are great friends Ron Pell, Jerry Freeman plus a keen helper.

Cover up ... Bob Abrahams works on cover ideas for Sailing to Purgatory.

Stocking up for 18 months ... Last minute farewells before Spirit of Pentax and Paul left on the long route to become Cape Horners.

Death of a racer ... Baltic Wind flounders after running into a container in the South Atlantic. Paul and a lady shipmate spent eight worrying days in a liferaft.

Hearing of the death of a friend, a good man turned into a scapegoat by our highly corruptible so-called justice system, is really sad.

And it's doubly so because of the seeming impossibility at the time of him disproving the professional misguidance from those hiding behind law degrees.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Justice ... As Roger's history shows, no wonder the image of justice is blindfolded. Hopefully, she wouldn't want to see the reality of it here. Photo by Tingey on Unsplash
Roger Gordon and I both suffered from England’s corrupt ‘justice’ system.

It's a system that accepts corruption to such an extent that it certainly seems that we ordinary citizens would be very fortunate indeed were we to receive justice.

I met Roger in prison and assumed, as we do, that of course he must be guilty, even though I knew only too well the crooked side of ‘justice’.


Of course, I should do.

I had watched how 'justice' without the least sign of conscience, had sent me to jail for nineteen years for smuggling - even though the prosecution knew it was an invented charge.

I tried to help Roger find justice and when my time was up – I did eight years and two weeks - I encouraged and helped him to start and keep going a blog on Google’s really excellent Blogger.

In one blog, he writes, ‘I have a battle going with the people in charge here over lie detector tests.

‘Only recently I discovered that a convicted man is allowed to take these specialist tests. I am chasing after authority for it and to have it done.

‘Then let them ask me again if I killed my wife, and let the scientists this time decide if I am lying - as the prosecution kept insisting.


‘Like to see them – the prosecutors - agree to a lie detector test after their performance in my trial. The equipment would go into melt-down.'

Roger gave me the facts of his case. In many ways, it is his word against the evidence of a young couple of addicts. And – as so often happens, it seems to me – it was made worse by selfish and possibly unthought out advice from counsel.

When it was Roger’s time to enter the witness box to give evidence, his barrister advised against it. She had another trial about to start, a trial she must attend.

‘I took the option then not to appear. It was a monumental mistake.


‘What do you tell yourself when you realise the size of a mistake? I trusted my defence team. I was innocent.

‘I simply couldn't believe that the jury would accept the circumstantial and discredited prosecution evidence. I was very wrong.’

Roger's Blogger reports are here →→

Thanks very much for visiting the mostly Tuesday and Thursday blogs for my adventure writing. The blogs (as they call 'em) are introduced each time on Facebook Facebook dot com/Sailingtopurgatory,

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The blogs for Sailing to Purgatory are introduced on Facebook.

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